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Hundreds of thousands of Americans marched in Washington, D. C. and in other cities across the US to commemorate the civil rights march led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 57 years ago that demanded racial justice and harmony, Aaron Morrisson, Kat Stafford and Ashraf Khalil wrote for the Associated Press (AP).

“We must never forget the American nightmare of racist violence exemplified when Emmett Till was murdered on this day in 1955, and the criminal justice system failed to convict his killers,” said Martin Luther King III, speaking to thousands that gathered Friday to commemorate the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. “Sixty-five years later (after Till’s murder), we still struggle for justice — demilitarizing the police, dismantling mass incarceration, and declaring as determinately as we can that Black lives matter,” King said. “You might have killed the dreamer, but you can’t kill the dream,” civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton also told Friday’s crowd. Satellite marches were held in South Carolina, Florida, Nevada, Utah and Colorado.

The demonstrators gathered following another shooting by a white police officer of a Black man — this time, 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last Sunday — sparking demonstrations and violence that left two dead. As peaceful protests turned to arson and theft, naysayers of the Black Lives Matter movement issued calls for “law and order” and President Trump tagged protesters as “thugs,” including those who hounded the White House as he accepted his nomination to run for the presidency anew.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, whose civil rights organization, the National Action Network, planned Friday’s commemoration, had a message for naysayers. “Some say to me, ‘Rev. Al, y’all ought to denounce those that get violent, those that are looting,’” Sharpton said. “All of the families (of victims of police and vigilante violence) have denounced looting. What we haven’t heard is you denounce shooting.” Sharpton asked, “We will speak against the looting, but when will you speak against wrong police shooting?” Sharpton and King stood with relatives of an ever-expanding roll call of victims: Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, and Eric Garner, among others.

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